FYI: What to do when you are ready to move on from Twitter

When it comes to social media, sometimes you love it, other times you hate it, sometimes you ignore it, and other times, it's time to just let go of it. Although this might not sound like a huge deal, when leaving a platform, you have to consider the reasons why, and also whether you are attached to it personally or professionally.

Sometimes the decision isn't even all that serious; you just get a whim one day, and just decide to call it quits. If you aren't a person that stays too attached, you can just go ahead and delete the account. But if you're a person that is sentimental, you might want to take all the data that you've accumulated, and try and save it. If that's the case, read on.

First and foremost, you'll probably want to backup all of your tweets for the lifespan of your account. Luckily, Twitter makes this an easy process by using its "archive" feature. You can access this by heading to your account settings and scrolling near the bottom. You should see something similar to what you see in the above image. Once you request your archive, you'll be emailed a link to download the data once it is ready.

This can take some time, so please be patient. While Twitter does provide your data in JSON and CSV formats, it also includes a browser interface through an 'index.html' file. If you access the archive through this, you'll find that the information is neatly laid out and organized in a manner that lets you browse through all the tweets by month and year. Unfortunately, this archive is only for the core of your account and doesn't include media or Direct Messages. Luckily, there is an easy solution for one of these problems.

Now, for those that want the images, videos and GIFs posted to the Twitter account, you'll need to go one step further. Luckily, it isn't a huge process and only requires a Chrome extension. There could be other ways of doing this, but if you have an account that has a lot of data, you'll most likely want to go this route, as it is automated and painless.

As mentioned prior, you'll need to download a Chrome extension called Twitter Media Downloader, and what this does is allow you to download all of your images, videos, and GIFs. Once you install it, you'll want to refresh your Twitter profile page, where you'll now see download arrows for your likes and also media. By clicking the download link for media, you'll be presented with a rather simple looking interface.

Simple looking interface

You will have the option to download images, videos, and GIFS. Now, you can download everything all at once, but it is recommended to do each one separately, so you won't encounter any errors. After you've selected what you want to download, click on "start", and the program will begin the process of retrieving all your data and will create a nice ZIP when it is done.

Again, it will depend on how much data you have, but it can take some time for this process to finish. As for the Direct Messages, there isn't a clear-cut way to save it all, there are some folks with solutions, and also services that offer a way to archive up to 200, but the latter will cost you. At this point, you'll have to make a decision whether the Direct Messages are crucial to the archive.

After the steps above, you should be good to go, whether you choose to just leave the platform and forget about it, delete your account in full, or just delete public tweets - the archives created will ensure that you have a majority of the important bits from your Twitter experience.

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